UN Special Envoy Djinnit reiterates support for Greater Civil Society role in the region

By United Nations (UN)
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The Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, Said Djinnit, participated in the second General Assembly Meeting of the Regional Civil Society Forum of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Forum comprises National Civil Society representatives elected in the ICGLR Countries with the aim to provide Civil Society a voice and platform for coordinated actions in the region.

Special Envoy Djinnit called on the Regional Civil Society Forum to foster a regional approach to forge cohesive and effective civil society support to regional efforts to address the challenges confronting the Great Lakes region. “As entities enjoying legal recognition from the national civil society groups, I urge you to work to correct any mistrust or misperception on your roles in order to foster effective collaboration with your various governments,” Mr. Djinnit told the gathering. The Special Envoy's call was echoed by the Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Honorable Augustine Mahiga who appealed to the members of the forum to forge alliance with governments in the region in order to become catalysts for change.

Since 2013, the Office of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region has funded series of national civil Society consultations on the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region. “My presence here is testimony of my personal commitment and of my office's continued support to your efforts to ensure that civil society of the region play a greater role in the positive transformation that the Great Lakes region is witnessing,” Mr. Djinnit reiterated.

More than 60 Civil Society representatives from the 12 ICGLR member states attended the Second General Assembly Meeting. Eight (8) ICGLR countries have already elected their National Civil Society representatives, including the DRC, Central African Republic (CAR), Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Four (4) remaining countries are yet to elect their representatives. These are Angola, Burundi, Republic of Congo, and Sudan.